Regarding Song Xiao-chen’s Oct. 4 letter, “Forget about a Taiwan alliance“: I agree on one point — that Japan cannot depend on an alliance with Taiwan (formerly Formosa) to avoid conflict with China over the sovereignty of the Senkaku Islands. Formosa was occupied by the Chinese warlord Chiang Kai-shek in 1949, while Mao Zedong occupied eastern Mongolia, Tibet and East Turkistan, and got Manchuria as a birthday gift from Josef Stalin.
There is no difference between the Chinese who occupied Formosa and those who occupied the countries mentioned above. Both armies committed atrocities against the native populations while the so-called democratic West looked the other way. China’s claims on the Senkaku Islands or Spratly Islands are expressions of the same aggressive imperialism.
It is true that Japan occupied the Korean Peninsula, Formosa, and several smaller islands in the late 19th century when the Meiji Empire started expanding. At that time, there was no China but the Manchu Empire. The Senkaku Islands were not a part of the Manchu, Ming or Mongol empires, as it was uninhabited and considered insignificant. Similarly Formosa was never a part of any of the Chinese empires either.
If we accept the Senkakus as part of the Manchu Empire, China could be justified in arguing its claim on all land up to what used to be the Roman Empire, as it was occupied at one time by the same Mongols who went on to occupy the greater part of China.
The opinions expressed in this letter to the editor are the writer’s own and do not necessarily reflect the policies of The Japan Times.